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Re: four winged Archaeopteryx

The supracoracoideus was experimentally disconnected in pigeons, but they did NOT fly just fine.
This was an experiment done in Nazi-era Germany by Max-Heinz Sy (1936, I believe). The pigeons in question were placed
on the floor of the lab, and folks tried to get them to fly (with or without jackboots, I'm not sure). Anyway, the pigeons could not take off from the floor. So the experimenters opened the window and threw the pigeons out (the lab was on an upper floor). The mutilated pigeons did indeed glide/flutter safely to the ground, but of course they would have been relying on the weak dorsal muscles and on aerodynamics to lift the wings. So the results of the experiments were as one might have predicted: NO take-off was possible, even under fear and stress, without the supracoracoideus. If a bird or an airplane has to avoid flying in "slower speed ranges", it can't take off.

On Sep 23, 2006, at 3:02 PM, James R. Cunningham wrote:

Richard Cowen wrote:

The fact that bats and pterosaurs don't use a supracoracoideus system
in their flight doesn't mean that birds can do without it.

No, it doesn't.However, the supracoracoideus has been surgically
disconnected in modern birds (pigeons, I believe), and they continue to
fly just fine after the surgery. That experiment probably indicates that
birds can fly without it since those surgically altered birds did so.
The reasons they could are fairly obvious. Removing it just means that
the birds will avoid flying in some slower speed ranges.